Arizona Republican Still Wants 2010 Law To Ban All Ethnic Examines

10 days ago

TUCSON, Ariz. — The former head of Arizona’s Education Department said repeatedly during testimony Tuesday that he hoped a 2010 law he spearheaded would eliminate all ethnic studies programs in the state’s public schools.

Tom Horne, a Republican who also served as the state’s attorney general from 2011 to 2015, made specific comments on the witness stand in the second week of a trial over whether conservative officials discriminated against Hispanics by abolishing a controversial Mexican-American analyzes curriculum from Tucson public schools.

Republican officials, led by Horne, accused the educators of the Mexican-American examines classes of politicizing students and fostering resentment against white people. But those in favour of the program cite independent research showing that the class encouraged college-level critical thinking skills and that students who took them scored higher on nation testing and graduated at a higher rate.

Jim Quinn, one of six lawyers representing Tucson students suing to overturn the ethnic studies statute, grilled Horne over his decision to use it exclusively to shut down the Tucson class, despite their positive results.

But Horne insisted he wanted all ethnic examines banned from the state and wrote the law broadly enough to achieve that goal over day.

” We had a tough enough time with the MAS program ,” Horne told of his efforts to ban Mexican-American examines from Tucson schools, which he launched in 2006 .” I hoped to eventually eliminate them all .”

The 2010 statute contained four provisions limiting ethnic studies in the state’s school system. It forbade classes that encourage the depose of the U.S. government, that breed racial rancor, treat students as members of a group rather than individuals, or that are designed for a specific ethnic group.

The latter provision, in theory, would have allowed the state government to also shut down African-American, Native American and Asian-American surveys classes as well. But neither Horne nor his successor as superintendent of public instruction, John Huppenthal, ever saw those class out of compliance with the ethnic analyses law.

Instead, Horne targeted only the Mexican-American examines classes in Tucson, citing an investigation he resulted based on commentaries from five current and former Tucson teachers who said the program’s instructors had accused them of racism or fostered ethnic patriotism among the district’s students. One of the teachers Horne cited said some those individuals who took the class were “dissed” for being white.

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Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne spearheaded a 2010 statute intended to ban all ethnic examines classes from the state’s public schools.
Horne’s investigation was supplemented by excerpts from materials used in the classes that he found offensive, including Rodolfo Acuna’s Occupied America: A History of Chicanos .” The mere title shows what kind of propaganda it is ,” Horne said.

Acuna served as a professor for decades at California State University, Northridge and his volume is widely considered a classic in the field of Mexican-American history.

Horne likewise took issue with the use of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed . While that volume is commonly used in university-level education programs, Horne described Freire as a Communist who carried un-American values.

” These children should be taught that they should work hard so they can achieve their dreams ,” Horne told.

Horne described his all-encompassing opposition to ethnic analyzes as part of an anti-racist ideology that he holds as one of his core political faith. He testified that his parents fled Nazi-occupied Poland and several of his relatives died in the Holocaust. He noted that he attended the speech at which Martin Luther King Jr . delivered his” I Have a Dream” speech and spends his downtime reading Mexican history books in Spanish.

” My whole life has been a campaign against racism ,” Horne told.

But he continues to position any classes designed to serve a particular ethnicity as basically racist. When Quinn asked him why he only targeted Tucson’s Mexican-American analyzes classes when authoring and implementing the new law, Horne said it was the only curriculum that he’d received complaints about or compiled evidence on.

” It was a pure historical accident that a group of radical teachers created that program ,” Horne said.

Quinn noted that Horne also received a complaint about one of the state’s Native American surveys classes. But Horne said he didn’t try to closed it down because it was protected by federal statute.

It’s unclear whether Horne’s comments will affect U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima’s ruling in the two-week bench trial. Tashima ruled in 2013 that the provision barring classes specially designed for one ethnicity violated the Constitution. A three-judge panel at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in 2015, when it ordered Tashima to hold the trial that has been initiated last month over the constitutionality of the law’s other provisions.

Horne began his attack on ethnic surveys in 2006, after civil right leader Dolores Huerta shall address a letter at a Tucson high school in which she said that” Republicans hate Latinos” — a reference to the contentious immigration debate.

In response, Horne dispatched his assistant, Margaret Dugan, a Hispanic Republican, to offer a counter-speech. Some students, upset that they weren’t permitted to ask questions, stood up while she was talking, turned their backs, raised their fists and put videotape across their mouths in protest.

The episode raged Horne further. On Tuesday, he described the protest as “rude,” and accused the Mexican-American studies educators of encouraging students to carry it out — a charge they deny.

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Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200 -meter run at the 1968 Olympics, take a stand protest against unfair treatment of blacks in the U.S. Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction thought that was rude.

Quinn likened the students’ protest to the famous moment in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, when African-American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith bowed their heads and created their fists on the pulpit to protest the mistreatment of black people in the United States, as many fought for civil rights.

Horne was unmoved by the comparison.

” I thought it was rude as heck ,” Horne said of the 1968 protest.” They were representing this country and I was not pleased .”

Ethnic analyzes class are taught at many American universities and have increasingly been adopted in public schools across the country — partly in response to the publicity generated by Arizona Republicans’ forbidding of the Tucson class.

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